PHATSIMA (the Setswana word meaning ‘Shine’) came to fruition after a chance meeting between a leading South African businesswoman and one of the school’s pupils.
A then 17-year-old Tsholofelo Diale revealed to visiting guests how she had applied to the school without her parents’ knowledge as she knew they couldn’t afford the school’s fees. Once she had been accepted the industrious Diale, against all odds, went about successfully applying for bursaries and funding. One of the school’s top graduates, Diale – now 20 – is studying for a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree at the University of Cape Town on a full scholarship provided by the Royal Bafokeng Nation.
Says businesswoman Getty Gizaw: “There and then I was determined to do something so that children who are academically astute but financially impoverished would have the opportunity to access a top education. Learning played such an important role in my life and I’ve always believed that, as business people with the opportunities we have, we must pay it forward.”
It was a sentiment endorsed wholeheartedly by Lebone II College headmaster David du Toit: “Ensuring that all children have the possibility of an outstanding education is a priority for our country and is in the forefront of thinking about the future for the Royal Bafokeng Nation. Kgosi Leruo Molotlegi, our current king, has stated that the true wealth of a nation lies in its people, and as such has placed emphasis on education, with Lebone ll College as a central focus on providing outstanding learning opportunities in our community. This concert with one of our true South African music legends aims to make funds available for young people to apply to enter this school and to enjoy the gift of education.”
Gizaw approached music promoter Roddy Quin of REAL Concerts who also manages South African music icon Johnny Cleg and asked if they would take part in a concert to launch PHATSIMA and they were instantly on board. The goal is to raise R500 000 towards the scholarship fund to continue to make this world class education at Lebone ll College, a proudly Setswana school with deep roots in the African soil, available to students who qualify for such funding.
Clegg – who recently returned to South Africa after receiving the Order of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II as recognition of his unique services to the arts‚ vulnerable people and children and to democracy in South Africa – will be joined on the amphitheatre stage by the Lebone II College Choir.
The Johnny Clegg Unplugged PHATSIMA concert takes place at Lebone II College Amphitheatre on Saturday, 7 May starting at 18:00. Tickets are R150 on the grass embankment; R250 in the Amphitheatre; R300 in the Golden Circle and R500 for VIP. Tickets are selling fast and all indications are that it will be a sell-out.